The next phase of the City’s bike network is being considered. Staff are recommending that the next lane be transferred to Vancouver Street instead of Cook Street. (File Photo

The next phase of the City’s bike network is being considered. Staff are recommending that the next lane be transferred to Vancouver Street instead of Cook Street. (File Photo

City shifts gears on Cook Street bike lanes, Vancouver St. recommended instead

Cook said to be too expensive, to inconvenient to install dedicated lanes

City staff are recommending that Cook Street no longer be considered in the next phase of Victoria’s downtown core bike network. Instead, they say the next north-south, all ages and abilities (AAA) route should run along Vancouver Street.

The change has opponents of the original plan very happy.

“We’re pleased that City staff has recognized the impossibility of the Cook Street proposal, and we hope council will too,” said Save Cook Street Coalition member, Robert McConnell, in an email. “A great deal of staff time and expense has been wasted trying to find ways to do what was obviously impossible from the beginning.”

Cook Street had initially been considered because of its connectivity to village centres, and the gentle topography along the streets. However, after further analysis and a lot of public feedback, City staff realized that the amount of traffic along Cook Street from buses and commuters, along with limited space for a physical barrier for cyclists, would be too expensive and too inconvenient to accommodate.

“Further analysis of Cook Street has revealed significant trade-offs required to maintain traffic performance and cycling safety, at intersections, and especially for vehicle turning movements during peak times,” reads a staff report to be discussed by council at committee of the whole tomorrow (May 24).

RELATED: Cook Street bike lane opposition grows among residents

Vancouver Street has been reassessed as the next option, running from Bay Street toward Dallas Road.

“Vancouver Street represents a more reasonable compromise between safety, cost and traffic performance, when compared to the Cook Street option sets,” states the report.

The largest barrier on Vancouver Street is managing parking spaces, though City staff report that with shared road concepts along certain parts of the roadway, an estimated 30 more spots can be created.

However, McConnell said there are still a few issues the City needs to reconsider in the next phases of their plan, including proposals of construction on Vancouver between Fort Street and Fairfield Road.

“There is plenty of room to convert part of the boulevards to protected bike paths. Instead the staff proposes to use only the existing roadway and add daytime parking, specifically to narrow the roadway and reduce traffic speeds,” he said. “The added risk to motorists and cyclists should be obvious, but apparently it’s not.”

If the Cook Street proposal is shelved, McConnell added, a leg of the Humboldt Street plan destined to end along Pakington Street, should be shelved too.

“It makes no sense to ask cyclists at Humboldt and Vancouver to make a complex and risky uphill S-turn onto Pakington and along a narrow, congested street only to be dumped onto a traffic mixing zone on Cook,” he said.

Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting gets underway at 9 a.m. Depending on the outcome of the discussion, the item could be put forward to a vote by council that evening.

Bike lane concepts for Wharf Street and Humboldt Street are still being discussed, but are presently reported to be 60 per cent complete.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

bike lanesCity of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

Bystanders attend to a cyclist who is knocked to the pavement of Oak Bay Avenue. Witnesses say the cyclist was knocked off their bike in a dooring incident on Oak Bay Avenue at Fell Street at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday. 
(Daniel Opden Dries Photo)
UPDATED: VicPD tickets driver for ‘dooring’ cyclist on Oak Bay Avenue

Incident occurred at Oak Bay Avenue and Fell Street

West Shore RCMP pulled over a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Nov. 23 after noting that it didn’t appear safe for the road. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP pull over vehicle held together by tape and cargo strap

RCMP deemed the vehicle unsafe for the road and had it towed away

Salon owner Philip Ferreira with the PPE collection box at The Natural Hair Salon, 618 View St. (Mariah Johal photo)
Victoria salon inspires more mask recycling

Anyone welcome to drop disposable masks in bin outside View Street shop

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Most Read